Freedometer 2.0 – Still not quite there

  I’ve been thinking about the glaring flaws in my original Freedometer and the fact that it didn’t express my point correctly. So without further adieu this is the new and approved Freedometer:


The Freedometer 2.0

  The way this works is that you have a binary situation, there are only two likely outcomes to be had. Now I understand that this is an unlikely situation and possibly impossible, but this diagram was made to explain the simplest situation so as to help people understand more complex ones. You would have a bar on top of this circle the length of its diameter and pinned at the center so that it can spin. Ideally you would turn it clockwise, the left hand side of the bar would show you the % likelihood that option 1 (or A what have you) would be chosen and the right hand side of the bar would instantly show you the % likelihood that option 2 (or B) would be chosen.

  Now this is grossly oversimplified and I believe it is easily argued that my ‘red zone’ is too large. However again this is for the concept and not necessarily precise. Lets look at example one for a little bit of guidance.


Example 1 (Option 1 20%/Option 2 80%)

  What this example shows is the bar moved so that you have an 80% likelihood of choosing outcome 2 and you have only a 20% likelihood of choosing outcome one. If I was good with gradients I’d have a third zone “yellow” that would probably span 89% to 71% and 11% to 29% respectively as a “zone for debate” or “possibly free choice”. The general idea being that once you get into the extremes of one choice being chosen 9 out of 10 times you have entered a region of positive gain to negative punishment that is far too large to be considered an earnest free choice. Likewise when you get really far, say 99/1 chance that you’ve entered an ‘ultimatum’ or some sort of extreme non-free choice.

  So by the loose definition of the 2.0 Freedometer (who’ll see a facelift once I learn gradients) the above example is a situation where you do not have a free choice, you are given a choice where option 1 is exceptionally poor and option 2 is exceptionally great. Say someone offering you cold unflavored coffee (option 1) or offering you cold filtered water (option 2) after you’ve just competed in a triathlon.


Example 2 (Option 1 27%/Option 2 73%)

  This would be a situation of free choice, it’s in that yellow zone that may be added at a later date but for now its a situation of free choice. While one option is nicer than the other neither puts the organism in a place of great disadvantage. I suppose this would be something akin to going to see a bad movie or a good movie, neither will destroy your day and while you do have a higher likelihood of choosing the good movie you may end up last minute entering to see the bad one to give it the benefit of the doubt.

  It would be unfortunate but not exactly life ending. Now this last example is what I envision when I look at situations where someone says something like “You can either give me your wallet or die.”


Example 3 (Option 1 100%/Option 2 0%)

  These are highly popular abuses of the free choice concept. You are given the choice of say “believing in a deity” or being punished to an eternity of unpleasantness. Neither option accurately relates to the consequences of its choice and likewise the grandiose nature of the aversive to the mediocre nature of the appetitive is (likely) infinitely large. Because of this you have a choice between a seemingly infinitely large positive outcome on one end and a seemingly infinitely large negative outcome on the other end. This is not a free choice at the utmost, it even looks weird on the Freedometer 2.0, it makes him very unhappy.

  So of course this is a work in progress. I think ideally I’m just trying to create a visual diagram (with the wonders of geometry) that can help provide visual aid for a very serious problem. Far too much of the world’s population abuses the concept of freedom or free choice. It seems to me anytime the options are vastly different in a negative correlation that they are directives masked behind choice.

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